Private Bills keep BJP ideology alive in the RS

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on February 12, 2020

BJP MP Rakesh Sinha   -  PTI

While one is pushing for small-family norms, two are on Uniform Civil Code

The result of the Delhi Assembly election is being read as a counter to the ‘divisive politics’ of the BJP. But certain private members’ Bills on the (UCC) and population control, proposed by the party MPs in the Upper House, make it clear that the intention is to push such controversial subjects that are close to the BJP’s heart.

The Population Control Bill, moved by BJP ideologue Rakesh Sinha during the monsoon session, is “to revitalise efforts towards promoting the small-family norms of up to two children per eligible couple”.

Sinha says in the ‘Statement on Objects and Reasons’ that it is imperative for the House to evolve a pragmatic and well-thought-out strategy to address the emerging demographic and related development needs of the 1.35 billion people.

“As a quick starter, it may be appropriate to encourage the Indian population to opt for small-family norms of up to two children. This choice shall have benefits on multiple scales- health of women and children will improve, burden in terms of health costs and lost opportunity cost to work of the family will reduce, women will find time to spend in school/college/universities, and become equipped to find employment/livelihood,” he says.

The private member’s Bill says that those who contravene the small-family norm and have more than two children shall be “ineligible to avail incentives and benefits” such as “receive reduction in subsidies in matters of different loans, receive reduced benefits of Public Distribution System to be determined by the appropriate Government, be eligible for loan from the bank or financial institution at higher than existing interest rates, receive lower interest rates on saving instruments in banks and investment instruments in equity.”

Sinha cites examples from countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand that have effectively implemented the small-family norm and benefited from the demographic advantage with effective macroeconomic policies and good governance.

The Bill is pending with the Rajya Sabha.

Uniform Civil Code

Two private members’ Bills — one a Constitutional Amendment Bill — suggesting a Uniform Civil Code could not be introduced in the Rajya Sabha following protests by Opposition members.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Insertion of a new Article 14A and omission of Article 44), proposed by BJP MP Narayan Lal Panchariya during the winter session, was meant for providing that “the State shall not discriminate in the matters of personal laws on the ground of religion and also to omit Article 44 of the Constitution.” Article 44 says the “State shall endeavour to provide for its citizens a uniform civil code (UCC) throughout the territory of India.” Pancharia said he will bring the Bill in a different format at a different time.

Another Bill, the Uniform Civil Code in India Bill, by senior BJP MP from Rajasthan Kirodi Lal Meena was to provide for the constitution of the National Inspection and Investigation Committee for preparation of a Uniform Civil Code and its implementation “throughout the territory of India and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

The Opposition argued that both the Bills are against Constitution.

Published on February 12, 2020

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